Three Simple Steps to Change

June 4, 2010

Change always invites a little drama, even when you want the change.  Just a few weeks ago I received my new computer and to go with it, new software, Windows 7.   As excited as I was, and as committed to the change as I was, it was still frustrating. I was slow to find things. I felt impatient and nervous getting used to the new look.  This is an example of a change that I wanted but still I had a lot of resistance around the learning curve.  Another change I created in my life is the commitment to being more “green.” 

I started recycling and made a decision to use those cloth bags at the grocery store.  But what happend the first month?  The intention was there but the action was not. The cloth bags never made it out of the passenger seat of my car for over a month, until I decided to course-correct.

Every time I went to the store, I made a secret vow that even if I was half way through the check out line, I would make myself go back to the car to retrieve the bags.  Yes, it was uncomfortable if not slightly embarassing, but the discomfort helped me create a new habit.  Now I understand that there are three steps to facilitating positive change.

1. Become aware
2. Create a new habit
3. Course-correct

Become aware
You first have to become aware that you need a change. Whether your change is out of a need, such as purchasing a new computer and new software system, or out of a desire to be a better citizen of the earth. The first step is awareness.

Create a habit
Desire and awareness alone does nothing without a plan of action.  To implement change, you must develop a new habit so you start reprogramming your brain until it becomes second nature. Otherwise,  you will have good intentions but no real change.  At first it will be difficult. You will have to think about what you are doing, over and over until one day it comes naturally.  This is the act of going from conscious competence to unconscious competence.

Even though it is now a habit, your old programming will kick in and surprise you.  After a year of using cloth bags, one day you still leave your bags on the passenger seat.  Six months after using Windows 7 you still can’t find the command you have used thousands of times.  After eating all the right foods you go on a binge. That is why you must course-correct. Don’t be hard on yourself and create more drama.  Just make the correction and now you have sort of done what I call a “back-stitch.”  You have sewn in the new habit and now it is stronger.

Yes, change always invites a little discomfort.  The key to getting through change is to develop new habits and this comes through training.


3 Ways to Make Lasting Change

May 10, 2010

If you want to make a lasting change in any area of your life, apply these three steps.

1. Become more conscious
2. Create a conscious habit
3. Course Correct

Become more conscious
Consciousness is another word for awareness.  Where ever you struggle in life, whether it be in your leadership, your finances, or your relationships, you must increase your awareness if you want to eliminate the problem.  Awareness is just the first step. Knowledge alone does nothing but alert you to the problem. The next step is action.

Create a conscious habit
In orde to faciliate change you need action, in the form of a new habit. When you first create a new habit you have to think hard about changing the habit. That is because your subconscious programming is in place until you reprogram.  Reprogramming requires you to create a new habit, one which eventually will become part of your unconscious programming.  For example, when I first started using cloth bags to do my grocery shopping, about 80 percent of the time, I forgot to grab the cloth bags until I was half way through the store with groceries in the cart.  I kept making promises to myself that eventually the new habit would sink in, after all, I was aware of what I wanted to change. My change did not become pemanent until I decided to course correct every time my old programming took over.

Course correct
When you start a new habit, you may find yourself even three or four months later slipping back into old programming. This is your perfect opportunity to course correct.  Even after a full year of using cloth bags at the grocery store, occasionlly I would go to a different store, or change up my routine and sure enough, I would forget and leave the cloth bags in the car.

What changed this old programming once and for all, was to immediately course correct. That’s right. Even in the middle of shopping, once I realized I had left the bags in the car, I trudged out to the car to retrieve the bags.

Why? Because I know if I keep making excuses, eventually I will get out of the new habit that is not yet completely programmed. If I experience  a little discomfort by making myself course correct the moment I recognize the problem, then I am more likely to create a solid habit that eventually becomes second nature.

What are you resisting?

February 12, 2009

You can wish.

You can hope.

You can even beat around the bush, manipulate or hint, but until you learn how to release your resistance nothing is going to change.

Resistance always shows up in our attachments, which by the way are our “real” commitments.

See if you are attached to

  • your beliefs
  • your comfort zone
  • your thinking
  • your ideas
  • Someone else’s approval
  • Looking good

How you know you are attached is when someone contributes an idea. Your response

  • That would be way to uncomfortable.
  • My __________would think I’m crazy.
  • I’d be way too embarrassed.
  • I would look stupid.
  • I’m afraid they would say, “no.”

So here’s the question.

Are you willing to be uncomfortable?
Are you willing to look stupid?
Are you willing to let your ______(fill in the blank) think you are crazy?
Are you willing to be embarrassed?
Are you willing to hear them say “no?”

Release the need for all that doesn’t really serve you, reclaim your power, and see the magic happen.

Want to release your resistance? Go to

I Once Was Blind, But Now I See

January 27, 2009

You got offended.  You got irritated. You became frustrated. You dread the conversation. You hide how you really feel.  You walk on egg shells,  say nice things to manipulate, say “yes” when you’d rather say “no.”

You wish he would change. You wish she saw things differently.

You fear rejection. You don’t ask for the sale.

You have an idea…you keep it to yourself.

You feel inauthentic. You feel tired.

If only circumstances were different.

If he wasn’t so stubborn, if she wasn’t so stupid, if you had more courage you wouldn’t feel what you feel.

Here’s the truth. All drama boils down to two things: Who you think you are and who you think someone else is.

I didn’t say “who you are” and “who they are.”

I said, who you THINK they are and who you THINK  you are.  It’s all about the way you see yourself and others that creates harmony or drama.

Most of the time our thinking blinds us so that we cannot really SEE. When you SEE it you can believe it.

SEE yourself differently and notice what happens. SEE  someone else differently and listen for a different response. Try it and let me know what  happens.

Reinvent a New Identity

January 18, 2009

Most of us define ourselves by our careers, our money, status, physical beauty or wealth. The problem with this type of definition is that you lose your identity when you lose the career, money, status, beauty and wealth. Then the question becomes, “Who am I without my _________(fill in the blank.) Most of us don’t know who we are outside of our jobs, our roles or our possessions, status, health and beauty.

Many people are experiencing this “IDENTITY DRAMA” right now because of the changes we are forced to make in the state of economic uncertainty.

The challenges we face in our world right now REQUIRE us to REINVENT a  new identity…one that will sustain us in j0433140the storm and shape the world to come.

What if in creating a  new identities we could actually change the world?

Jim Carey said on the Oprah show  that he defines himself in three words: “I am Love.”

Can you see how this belief would make you behave around others? If you define yourself as “I am love” then how do you

  • Respond to criticism
  • Treat yourself
  • Treat others
  • Interact with your children
  • Deal with customers

Can you see how the way you define yourself makes all the difference? Everyday even if we don’t intend to, we answer the question, “who am I?”

We answer the “Who am I” question,  in our behaviors, in our words, and in our moment-by-moment choices.

Here’s the challenge: Pick a new way of BEING to define yourself then “act as if” that is who you believe you are. Here are some choices to get the juices flowing:

  • I am lighthearted
  • I am intelligent
  • I am  secure
  • I am joyous
  • I am a child of God
  • I am wise
  • I am a problem-solver
  • I am creative
  • I am compassionate

Think about this new identity and set an intention to “BE” this new identity when you are in an argument with someone, when dealing with a potential client and with your friends and family. Please let me know what words you decide on to define yourself, and share your declaration with the world by posting below.

PS…please sign up for the SYD Signature Series where we will be discussing these important issues that will help us all be the change we want to see in the world.